Indicators Maple Syrup Season is Over

How do you know when maple syrup season is over?  There are a few typical things that bring the season to a close:
  1. Weather - it just gets too warm and there are no more freeze/thaw cycles that cause the sap to run. Also, extended warm weather periods increases bacteria in the tap hole and can significantly lessen or stop sap flow.  
  2. Trees - sometimes they just shut down and stop running even if you are still getting some decent freeze/thaw patterns.  This is pretty typical behavior for red maples
  3. Budding - the trees are beginning to bud and will soon be dawning their leaves for the year.  As the buds break and photosynthesis begins, this causes changes to the sap, negatively impacting the flavor of the syrup.  This is frequently called "buddy", a type of "off" flavor.  
Examples of red maple early stage budding
Below is a video covering the basics of knowing when your season is wrapping up and shows examples of red maple and sugar maple buds late in the season.  




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